Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Heat and Star Wars

Hey there Jundland Wastes travelers! It was so hot today here in south eastern Massachusetts! I am sure it's not as hot as it will be in Orlando for Star Wars Celebration 6 in a couple weeks...but I can imagine the heat and humidity will be there for the convention. As I was trying to cool down last night I decided to take out my sketchbook and draw another Jundland Wastes picture. I decided to go with Ben Kenobi for this sketch. I recently just picked up his 2004 Vintage Trilogy figure and was rereading the first part of Ryder Windham's The Life and Legend of Obi Wan Kenobi.

I love stories about Ben/Obi Wan Kenobi during the time of his exile on Tatooine. I always imagine stories of his training by Qui Gon Jinn's spirit, his telekinetic communication with Yoda on Dagobah or his task of watching over Luke Skywalker from a distance. I do hope we get a chance to see some of these stories come to life in the Expanded Universe.
And if you want to see a great Expanded Universe/Infinity story that includes Ben/Obi Wan Kenobi, pick up The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition video game for Xbox 360. There is a story called A Fragile Hope in which we see what might have happened if Starkiller AKA Galen Marek defeated Darth Vader on the Death Star and became apprentice to Darth Sidious.  The story takes place on Tatooine. And it is about the best Tatooine has looked on a video game. Ben/Obi Wan makes a a very important appearance in the game. It is also the best rendition of Ben/Obi Wan on a video game as well!

Email us if the summer heat is inspiring your fandom in your reading, video games or any projects.

Stay tuned for our next podcast!

Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not Going to C6? No Worries! There is Still Lots of Star Wars Fun to Have!

Hey there Travelers of the Jundland Wastes! Yes, it has been a while since I last posted a blog or a podcast episode. I am hoping that I will be able to post more as the summer ends and the autumn season begins. Life tends to be pretty "non-routine" during the summer and I hope to have a more consistent routine as it regards the podcast by the time the leaves begin to change color.

But it is the summer season and it means going out and enjoying the weather, maybe going to the beach, getting a good swim in and having some tasty summertime treats like ice cream and lemonade. But it is also the prime season for comic conventions! This past weekend was the ever famous San Diego Comic Con. I watched some footage on G4 thus past Saturday night. It really is one of those experiences that needs to be tried even once. The panels, the costumes, the comic book culture and the general fandom cannot be duplicated anywhere. It is the grand-daddy of conventions and I do hope to make it there one day.

And in a couple weeks, Star Wars fans will be flocking to Orlando, Florida for Star Wars Celebration 6. The TJW Podcast really wanted to find a way to be there this year. But it is an experience that will have to be put on hold at least for this year. Perhaps when Celebration 7 is announced in two years or so the TJW Podcast will have a better opportunity to attend.

This got me thinking about fans who (for whatever reason) are unable to make it to a convention this summer. Granted these events do require some financial planning and family coordination which can make it impossible at times. But just because one is not able to attend a San Diego Comic Con or a Star Wars Celebration does not mean that a devoted fan of the franchise cannot have some "geek" fun.  Here are some suggestions that I have done in the past month or so to cure those comic convention doldrums.

Podcasts - It is probably not a big surprise that I would list this as my first choice. While podcast have exploded in the last few years, I think the fandom community has benefited most from the democratization of blogging and podcasts. There are more first hand reports compiled on blogs and podcasts that take us right into the convention hall. As fans, we get to hear the background noise of the convention and the ambience of the event. Actors, artists and fan interviews on podcasts have connected us more with the conventions then any other medium in my opinion. Yes, you can find news about these on G4 or E! but there is a sense excitement balanced by the normalacy of the everyday fan logging his or her journey at a convention.  Do a websearch or search through iTunes and see what podcasts are available for comic con fans! And then pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, plug in your Mp3 player and pretend you are at the event.

Virtual Artist Alley - One of the best times I had at the Boston Comic Convention this past spring was getting to spend a LONG time walking through the artist alley. I met many artists that have inspired me to draw again as well as those that I have admired over time. And while nothing replaces the experience of being there, the internet has allowed us access to see (and order) great pieces of art from some very talented artists. Check out the official Star Wars Celebration site (www.starwarscelebration.com) and see who has a print for sale. Then go to the artist website. You get to see many prints from past conventions and celebrations. There is actually a print from a past convention that I am planning to purchase. The great thing about this is that I can budget for a print because I am not attending the celebration where I need to pay for hotel and other expenditures. So it is sort of a consolation to be able to get a fantastic work of art.

Autograph Hunting - Just as one has a little more to budget for an art print, the same can be said for those who are looking to get an autograph. Conventions and celebrations are famous for the meet and greet opportunities.  These lines can be long and it can sometimes take a big chunk of time out of the convention depending on the actors fame. So another great consolation is the fact that many conventions have mail in or ordering services so you can purchase an autographed photo and at times even personalized autographs. There are a couple I am looking to get from the C6 show and it never fails to put a smile on my face when I get them in the mail. Plus, it is a good time to find those actors who will sign autographs for free through the mail (as long as you have enclosed proper postage and a self addressed stamped envelope). Do some research and you will find that many actors who you would suspect are "too famous" will in fact take the time to sign an autograph.

Crafts and Cooking - This might sound a little silly but there can be a lot of fun had with making Star Wars art crafts and cooking. I have always been a big fan doing dioramas. And if you have children they will also delight in being able to transform an ordinary shoe box into a great scene from the movies. And by all means, USE YOUR LOOSE ACTION FIGURES! They are meant to be played with and look great as part of a diorama. The possibilities are endless and if you are doing this with your children you will see their eyes light up when you can put together the Battle of Hoth, Yoda's swamp home, the famous Lars Homestead or a speeder bike chase through the forest of Endor. And if you do a web search you will find many resources for Star Wars fans who like to make dioramas. Some even include cut out templates which can really make your diorama stand out! And don't forget to check out many Star Wars themed recipes that can be great to make and delicious to eat. My kids love making giant Death Star cookies and get a kick out of these 6 inch cookies!

Expanded Universe Titles - As a podcast dedicated to exploring the issues, ideas and the imagination of the Star Wars Expanded Universe it should be no surprise that I list this as a way to cure the blues of not attending a convention or celebration. In addition to the many titles out there, you can also catch up on Star Wars video games that might have fallen through the cracks and were missed. If you are looking for a great game that does not take a long time to play, try The Force Unleashed 2. It is an older game but the graphics are incredible and it is a good story. Even for those who have played it, the fun is still there!

Have a Mini-Con - You can't possibly be the only guy or gal who did not manage to make it to a convention or celebration. A great way to have some fun this summer is to have a "Non-Con" party. You can easily mention this to people on forums in places like www.rebelscum.com and see if anyone is interested. Have an informal gathering at a beach, a lake or even a nearby park. Make it pot luck and share in bringing snacks and drinks. And then the skies the limit to what you can do. Maybe you want to have some things to trade from your collection. Perhaps bring the DVD's of the movies to watch together on a laptop or portable DVD player. If there are any 501st member in the area ask them if they would like to "troop" at your party.

These are just a couple of ideas. But I would love to hear your ideas as well. Send us an email with your ideas to: jundlandwastespodcast@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for another episode of the TJW Podcast!

Mark
Co-host TJW Podcast